• Published 15th Jul 2018
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The Day of Red Night: The Alushy Chronicle - Tall Tail Hoofmann

An accurate account of the events surrounding the mythological Vampony known as Alushy

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The Starlight Catalyst

This tragedy begins, as many tragedies do, with an accident.

The School of Friendship; Winter

When in session, a lively and vibrant educational establishment even under a foot of snow. But it was that time of year when the holidays rolled around and students went back to their respective towns, villages, mountains etcetera to be with their families. And for the ponies of Equestria, Hearth’s warming eve was fast approaching. Needless to say, student councillor Starlight Glimmer would not have been so bored if she had had students to council.

“No. . . No . . .Boring . . .Read it twice” she muttered to herself as she ran her eye over the seemingly numberless volumes arrayed on the shelves in front of her. It was true. She had read nearly everything in the School of Friendship’s library at least twice and in some cases three or four times. Some might have been worth another read but there wasn’t much more she could learn about magic from a book. As for the volumes concerning friendship, well, after ten years as the Princess’ pupil and then at the school she’d authored at least three of them herself. She turned and trotted back toward the front desk, her eye gliding lazily across the titles not really focusing on anything. She rounded the corner of a shelf. To her left midday sunlight streamed in through the grand stained glass window. Down the stairs to the right a Hippogriff student sat alone at one of the study desks, her beak buried in a book, and beyond her the librarian’s desk and the doors. She turned toward the window. Not willing to return to her office. If she did that she wouldn’t have any reason not to do the paperwork that had been piled on her desk for two days now.

It was as she made that conscious and fateful decision that she spotted the glass case which held pride of place beneath the stained glass window. In it she knew rested the only surviving copy of the Court of Friendship’s collaborative journal. The book that the six friends had kept for a time, detailing the various adventures they had had and what they learned from them. It was a particular favourite of Starlight’s. One of the reasons she had become Princess Twilight’s student was because she had been unable to understand how six, seemingly incompatible, ponies were so vital for Equestria’s survival. She had read the journal so many times during her early days as Twilight’s student, hoping to gain some understanding. If she was honest she still didn’t really understand, even after all these years. But as time wore on she truly hoped that she would.

Her mind made up, her horn glowed as she used her magic to open the case and levitate the book to her hand, even as she turned and made her way to her favourite spot; a plush chaise lounge tucked away behind the shelf of magical mythology that everyone seemed to forget about. Reaching it she plopped down, swung her hooves up onto the chaise, reclined comfortably and began flipping through the passages randomly, waiting for a word or phrase to catch her eye. She’d read them all of course but she liked some more than others, and she hoped something would jump out at her. It was as she was flipping through the middle of the book that the phrase “Fangs and burning red eyes” caught her eye. She stopped, flipping back a few pages until she found the beginning of the entry. It was the one by Applejack, simply entitled Bats! In it Applejack recounted how a dispute over how to deal with a colony of vampire fruit bats that had infested her orchard had led to Fluttershy being the victim of a misfired spell. That spell had transformed her into an apple sucking, seed spitting, Vampony.

As Starlight reached the part where Pinkie, hyperactive and illogical as ever, had concluded that Fluttershy was a monster that was going to suck them dry of all their blood, she chuckled a little. Pinkie’s hyperactive antics were always amusing, even in the direst of situations. It occurred to her then that she herself remembered reading about something very similar during her magical studies. In a book from the very section she was sitting in no less! Setting the journal gently down on the nearby coffee table Starlight jumped to her hooves and cantered over to the bookshelf.

“Where are you? Where are you? Where are- ah! Here you are” she declared pulling an ancient, damaged and age faded book from the top shelf entitled: ‘Demonology 101: a guide to supernatural forces from Equestria and beyond by Trotal Codswallop. She had looked over it once before when researching Windigos for her own studies. But she remembered a chapter that had described a creature similar to ‘Flutterbat’ but with more violent and monstrous characteristics. With the book enveloped in the softly glowing magical field of her Telekinesis, she magically flipped through the pages as she moved back over the Chaise Lounge.
“Here we go” she muttered finding the section she was looking for. Setting the book on her lap and releasing her magic she began to read:

Of all the vile and monstrous creatures that have infested the land of Equestria in ages past none were so powerful, and as reviled as that of “Nosefuratu” or the Vampony. Up until the Imprisonment of the Chaos spirit Discord and the ascension of the royal pony sisters to their rightful positions on the throne of Equestria one would have been ill advised to venture out alone at night lest they fall prey to one of these demons. These demonic monstrosities were first created by the unholy union of Pony and an unknown creature of chaos. Vamponies were near immortal undead beings, feeding upon the blood of the living in order to sustain their dark life force. Though several maintained a visage of normality and, in some cases, were even able to hide among civilised ponies it is vital to remember that they were not living creatures. They were soulless undead monsters with a savagery and bloodlust otherwise unheard of by ponykind, concealed just below the surface.

Tales of their abilities and deeds were well documented. Sadly the vast majority were destroyed when the first Canterlot Royal Library was beset by Vamponies seeking the blood of our most beloved Princess Celestia, for they believed that ending her would bring an end to the sunlight in Equestria. Ironically it was this act that led to the destruction of both Vamponies and the records concerning them when Princess Celestia used her divine solar magic to scorch the library from within and burn it to the ground. Thus little written evidence now remains of their existence though rumours still abound that a few escaped the blaze.

The image at the bottom of the page showed a building that looked very similar to the Canterlot royal library in flames with the blazing forms of what Starlight assumed were the Vamponies fleeing and the silhouette of Celestia with horn aglow and arms upraised at the centre of the conflagration. Starlight turned the page and continued, looking for the relevant subsection:

Dark Powers:

ALL Vamponies, regardless of whether Unicorn, Earth Pony or Pegasus, were known to possess a sinister and chaotic black magic. The strength of this magic and the ways in which they were able to utilise it varied based upon their age and sire but all Vampony’s were known to possess a common set of abilities. These included:

· Supernaturally enhanced senses
· Accelerated cognition
· Unfathomable speed, strength and agility
· The ability to turn a mortal by forcing their own blood upon an unspoiled pony of the opposite sex.

Other abilities were seen to emerge as the Vampony grew in power. These included:

· The ability to read and control the minds of mortals
· Telepathy
· The ability to transform their bodies into Mist or a cloud of bats.
· The ability to regenerate fully from any wound sustained.

The most powerful of vampires were also said to be so overwhelmingly powerful that with a single thought they could force an entire battalion of trained warriors to commit suicide for their amusement. They were immune to any and all methods of execution that would kill a lesser Vampony and some were even said to be able to warp reality itself and open portals to the realm of chaos and disharmony, releasing all the frightful, nightmare horrors within upon their enemies.

Physical Attributes:
An unobservant individual may mistake a Vampony for an ordinary mortal at a passing glance. But upon closer inspection they would find several distinguishing differences. Firstly the eyes of the Vampony are not like those of a mortal colt, for the iris is as dark and red as the blood they consume and the pupil can narrow from circular to slitted much like a cat’s. It should be noted that some Vamponies were capable of concealing this, making their eyes appear normal. It is said that this illusion would dispel if the Vampony became enraged or caught in the madness of violence and bloodlust.

Secondly, the ears of the Vampony are distinct from those of the mortal pony. They are longer with a sharply tapered point, similar to those of the bats they share an uncommon kinship with. These ears granted Vamponies praeternatural hearing. A Vampony was said to be able to hear a pony’s shallow breathing from a quarter mile away.

The most iconic visual difference between the Vampony and the mortal pony was that of their teeth. Whilst pony teeth are flat, intended for the consumption of a wholesome herbivorous diet, the teeth of the vile Vampony were sharply pointed and intended for the ripping of pony flesh. Most notable are the “fangs” of the Vampony. These “fangs” appear to be grotesquely elongated canines specially designed to puncture the flesh and draw blood. Surviving records reveal studies conducted on the only vampire ever to be held, briefly, in captivity that found these teeth to contain an unusual network of capillaries leading to a hole imperceptible to the naked eye at the tip of the tooth. Sadly those same records do not indicate how these allowed Vamponies to draw blood from a victim’s body so rapidly.

Vamponies could appear to be Pegasus, Unicorn or Earth Pony but in all cases there were variations in the physical characteristics:

Pegasus: Pegasus Vampony wings were large and leathery. A thin membrane of translucent skin stretched between the segmented wing bones. Thin claw like protrusions can be found at the tips of each “finger” of the wing, and a similar protrusion can be found along each wings leading edge, although it appears this particular protuberance was purely vestigial and served no purpose. If a mortal Pegasus wing can be suitably compared to the wing of a bird then the wing of a Pegasus Vampony is most like that of a bat.

Starlight glossed over the characteristics of Unicorn and Earth Pony Vamponies, concerned only with information relating to Pegasus and Vamponies as a whole. She was thoroughly engrossed, and more than a little disturbed by what she was learning. The majority of what followed this section was the authors’ ramblings on the nature of Vamponies as harbingers of the end of the world, demons and even dark gods and goddesses as well as the numerous methods concocted to combat them. The only section that caught her eye was the final one detailing notable Vamponies. Most were unremarkable, known only by name because of the way they had been killed, but there were three entries that were larger than the others:

Dracul Blood Fang: Referred to by many as “Count Blood Fang” or “Count Dracula”. The king and father of all Vamponies and the most powerful of his kind who came from a land beyond Equestria’s eastern borders. A brutal, violent and sadistic creature who enslaved the ponies of his own kingdom and forced many of them to build him a castle fortress with Equestria’s borders, deep within the Everfree forest. When Celestia and Luna rallied their own armies against him he slaughtered ten thousand of his own subjects and staked them around his castle as a warning. When the noble sisters refused to yield he reanimated the corpses of the fallen into an unthinking army of ghoulish abominations that marched against the Princess’s forces with no will of their own and no fear of death. Sickened the royal sisters withdrew. Blood Fang was able to hold sway across a portion of Equestria for nearly two centuries, with Castle Volkihoof at its heart, before being overthrown and executed by his own son Alucard Black Wing.

Alucard Black Wing: Son of Count Blood Fang. A Vampony second only in power to his own father. Alucard was said to have grown impatient with his father’s lack of action in regards to the threat posed by Celestia and her solar magic. He finally betrayed his father and he and his faithful laid siege to the count’s castle, casting it into ruin and killing the Count himself. It was Alucard and his faithful that then led the attack on Celestia that resulted in the extinction of Vampony kind.

Rose Heart the Good: The only known “good” Vampony. She was a maiden, turned against her will by a Vampony who wanted to take her as his bride. After slaying the arrogant creature she returned to her home village. Although initially mistrusted and shunned by those around her she is said to have won their trust and admiration by defending their tiny village against incursions by monsters, wild animals and other Vamponies. She refused to bite other living ponies and drink their blood and as a result was eventually decapitated by one of Alucard’s lieutenants after losing a duel. In retribution for her defiance the village was burned and all its inhabitants slaughtered.

Starlight was just reaching the end of the description of Rose Heart’s sad fate when a tap on her shoulder, nearly made her jump out of her skin. Twilight Sparkle leapt backward screaming almost as loud as starlight was. From the lower floor an angry shush sounded. It’s almost comical misplacement in the situation allowed both of them to calm sufficiently to talk.
“T-Twilight, you startled me. I was just reading a uh . . .a scary book.” she said, levitating the aforementioned book back to its spot on the shelf.

“That’s alright. I’m sorry I startled you but I was pretty sure I would find you in here.” She started rambling nervously, flapping her arms about and gesticulating randomly as she spoke. “When you didn’t come back to the castle I thought you must be running late, so I went to your office but you weren’t there so I thought what would cause Starlight to forget about the time? And then I thought of how easily I lose track of time when I’m lost in a good book so I figured why not check the library to see if-“

“Twilight!” Starlight shouted, clapping her hand over her mentor’s mouth to stop her rambling, which earned her another angry shush from others in the library.

Twilight blushed slightly, chagrined then gently eased starlight’s hand away from her mouth.
“Sorry about that” she said, “I’m just nervous.”

“You’d think after everything we’ve been through there’d be nothing left to make you nervous” Starlight commented.

“Oh I know” Twilight agreed, her voice a tad whiny. She was still nervous. “But there are so many things that could go wrong. This type of magic is forbidden for a reason. I’m amazed we were able to get the special dispensation to use it.” Twilight remarked as the two of them turned and began to make their way toward the library doors.

“Twilight,” Starlight said, firmly grasping her mentor’s shoulder, “you are the Princess of Friendship and have done more than enough for Equestria to be allowed to prove how competent you are. How competent all of you are. I’m pretty sure that, between the seven of us, if anything went wrong we’d be able to handle it!”

“Hmmm, if you say so” Twilight grunted, sounded unconvinced. “Come on, let’s get back to the castle before I chicken out!”

Back in the Princess’ castle Twilight had cleared a large area of floor space in the centre of the library. Over the course of an hour and a half Twilight and Starlight chalked out the chaotic pentagram that was to be the magical conductor, channelling the magical energies into a central focal point on which the caster would stand. Tables had been shoved against the bookshelves and the chairs were well out of the way in the corners. Black cloth had been draped over all the nearby surfaces to minimise visual distractions an all the windows were shut and bolted. The spell used unpredictable magic of the darkest, most chaotic kind. They couldn’t afford to have any negative energy escaping and corrupting Equestria. The preparations were meticulous and just a little irritating to Starlight. She had always found Twilight’s approach to magic a tad cautious. The purple unicorn was a gifted spell caster to be sure, and Starlight couldn’t think of anyone she’d rather have had as a mentor, but watching her check for the third time that the windows were all shut and bolted Starlight wondered how she had ever gotten as powerful as she had.
“Okay” twilight said, “We should be okay to start now.”

“You sure?” Starlight asked sarcastically, “don’t you want to check the windows again. I think you left that one open a tiny crack.”

“WHAT where?” Twilight shrieked whipping her head around, her dark purple main flying. She completed a full turn to find starlight staring at her with arms folded, one eyebrow raised expectantly. “Oh, sarcasm, he he” she cleared her throat awkwardly, “Shall we?” she asked gesturing toward the centre of the room.

“Now, the casting of the Black Wish, begins with drawing the magic circle” Twilight read aloud from a black book even older than the one Starlight had been reading from earlier. “Once the circle is completed the unicorn caster must position themselves at the circle’s absolute centre with horn pointed to true north. At the turning of the hour, recite the incantation exactly as written. The spell will grant the caster one wish no matter how impossible, warping the very fabric of existence to make what could not be so.” Twilight finished reading the passage and swallowed. “This is a ridiculously powerful spell alright, and dangerous. I don’t know” Twilight muttered, tucking the chalk back into the pocket of her blazer.

“Twilight we talked about this” Starlight insisted, “you and I both have a greater control over magic than anyone in Equestria, save the princesses, it will be perfectly within our power to handle it.”

“It’s not that simple Starlight!” Twilight insisted, her voice increasing in intensity and volume as she became more agitated. “The magic we’re using isn’t normal Unicorn magic. It’s black magic. The magic of chaos. And just like Discord its far more susceptible to whims. One errant thought and I could turn the whole of Equestria into cabbages or something!” she was shouting now, waving her arms wildly.

“Twilight. . .” Starlight began, but the princess of friendship slammed the ancient tome closed and turned to her pupil.

“NO! No, this doesn’t feel safe and I’ve got the awful feeling that if we attempt this spell something really, really bad will happen.” She headed for the doors.

“Where are you going?” asked starlight.

“To find spike, I need him to send a letter. I’m going to tell Celestia that I want to attempt this spell in Canterlot under more stringent safety regulations. Then I’m sending that book back to her! Please just wipe away that pentagram and start returning everything to normal” she ordered, and was out the door before Starlight could utter a single word.

Starlight was astounded. She had known Twilight had been nervous but she had never expected her mentor to chicken out entirely.
And after we spent so long setting everything up too she thought, grumpily. Glancing upward at the face of the grandfather clock nearby she saw the time was a quarter to ten. They had been in the library for so long they’d skipped right over dinner! Her eyes left the clock face and alighted on the black tome lying on the nearest bench. It was at this moment, dear reader, that Starlight Glimmer made a choice that she would come to regret for the rest of her days and would inexorably alter the future of Equestria. When I asked her she couldn’t say whether it was curiosity about the spell, or anger at her mentor’s apparent cowardice that drove her to levitate the book toward her and trot squarely into the centre of the circle. The second she reached it she could feel the powerful draw of chaotic magic. Like her it wanted the spell to be cast. It had intention. She could tell it wanted to take form and be used. She would wish for something small, she decided, just to prove to Twilight it that she didn’t need to be so danged overly cautious with magic. The Pegasii had scheduled a light rain over Ponyville tomorrow afternoon. She would wish for a perfectly clear day, just to annoy them. She giggled a little. She would love the confused look of Rainbow Dash’s face when all her clouds disappeared.

On the subject of Pegasii it was at that moment that a cream coloured Pegasus, with a long pink main delicately obscuring one eye, entered the library.
“Oh I’m sorry,” she said when Starlight glanced her way. Her gentle voice barely carried across the room. She twirled her index finger into the end of her long mane as she spoke, toying with it nervously.“I didn’t realise you were in the middle of something. I just heard yelling and thought I’d check that everything was okay now.”

“Thanks Fluttershy” Starlight answered. “It’s nothing to worry about. Twilight changed her mind about doing this spell and she went to find spike, that’s all.”

“Oh okay” Fluttershy said, looking immensely relieved. Her hand dropped back to her side, her nervousness apparently evaporating now that she could leave. “I’ll go then.”

“Okay” said starlight, offering a smile as the shy Pegasus turned to leave, pulling the door shut as she went. After a moment Starlight took a deep breath and turned her attention back to the spell book. Focusing all of her mind on the image of clouds clearing away into blue skies Starlight began to chant over and over the ancient words from the book. Immediately she felt the dark magic rush to her, eager to respond to her call. But as it did thoughts, perhaps raised by Fluttershy’s interruption and the dark magic itself began to intrude on her clear idea of what she wanted.

Her mind began to drift toward the book she had been reading before Twilight had found her and of all the things she had read about Vamponies and how she had been comparing them to Applejack’s account of Fluttershy. Starlight wrestled with the thoughts, trying to regain the mental image of clouds blown away to clear sky, but the magic had other ideas. It latched on to the dark thoughts of Vamponies and tugged on them, trying to draw more of them out. Starlight continued chanting but clenched her teeth as she wrestled with both her own thoughts and the magic. The magic fought her jabbing at her brain with dark tendrils of malicious intent. She was fighting to keep it contained now. She could almost feel the eldritch fire of dark magic burning the insides of her closed eyelids and she feared that if she opened them her eyeballs would be scorched with dark flames.
This was a terrible idea she decided.

Yes it was the magic seemed to whisper. In her mind it sounded disturbingly like Discord. But you made this arrogant decision and now you must control the magic or unleash hell upon Equestria.

I will control it. I will not be responsible for the destruction of Equestria again! She vowed.

She clamped down hard on both her thoughts and the dark magic coalescing in her mind and taking form along the length of her horn. She had no idea how long she fought for. It could have been seconds or it could have been years. Either way it was agony the entire time! She just had it under control when the sudden BANG of the door slamming against a table shattered what little of her concentration she had been able to maintain. Her eyes flew open in shock, around her was a black sphere composed of dark magic, flowing to her from the symbol marked on the tiles. Her eyes fell upon a familiar Pegasus standing in the doorway. All the thoughts she had fought back before resurfaced for just an instant and the magic was free. It blazed forth from her, crashing against every surface as the sphere exploded. Most seemed to dissipate harmlessly against whatever it touched except for the part that slammed into Fluttershy lifting her from her hooves and flinging her, bodily, against the wall of the corridor. Starlight herself was thrown across the room by the back blast from the magical cascade, crashing over a table and landing sprawled in a pile of books.

Her head still fuzzy she scrambled to her hooves, clambering back over the table and stumbling awkwardly to Fluttershy’s side.
“Fluttershy? Fluttershy are you alright? Are you hurt?” Except for a sizeable knot on the top of her head where she’d hit the wall Fluttershy looked dazed but otherwise unharmed. She rubbed it with one hand as she got to her hooves.

“I think so” she said. “That spell didn’t hurt me and I only bumped my head. I’ll put some ice on it back home.”

“So you feel okay in the head. No dizziness, feeling sick?” she asked. “No sudden desire to drink Pony blood?” she muttered. Fluttershy heard her. She looked shocked, and a little scared.

“Drink blood? No. I don’t think so” she paused for a moment as if waiting to see if the urge would strike her. “No just the regular type of hungry” she assured Starlight. Then she looked concerned again. “Why? Was I supposed to? What was that spell meant to do?” Starlight sighed with relief, reaching forward to straighten the bow on the front of Fluttershy’s blouse that had been knocked askew by the magic.

“Apparently nothing” she assured Fluttershy, and herself.

“Oh okay then” Fluttershy said, “I should probably go home. Angel will be getting worried.” The Pegasus turned to leave. Starlight followed her a few steps, around the bend in the corridor. Then she skidded to a halt as she saw Twilight and Spike appear around another corner at the corridor’s far end.

She turned and galloped back to the library. Her horn was already aglow as she came through the door, magically multitasking re-shelving books and moving benches as she worked frantically to remove the summoning pentagram and hide all evidence of her magical catastrophe. She dropped the last stool into place right as Twilight and Spike opened the library doors again.
“Ah Starlight thanks for-“

“Nothing!” she interrupted, attempting to conceal her own panic behind a false smile. She could feel the sweat beading on her forehead. “I did nothing! Umm, nothing worth thanking me for” she corrected awkwardly. “I just tidied up, that’s all.”

“Yeeeahh” agreed Twilight slowly, taken aback by Starlight’s outburst. “Anyway, we’re going to send the book back to Canterlot and reschedule another casting there. I’d love it if you’d come along and help cast-“

“NO!” Starlight interrupted automatically. “No, n-no problem Twilight. I’d be glad to help” Starlight lied. In truth she never wanted anything to do with that spell ever again but Twilight couldn’t know that, or be allowed to find out why. “Oh boy is that the time” Starlight remarked too loudly making a show of checking the clock which, she realised with a thrill of horror, had stopped at exactly ten o’clock. “No wonder, I’m so tired. Okay well I’m off to bed Twilight see you tomorrow look forward to casting that spell and everything bye!” She spouted it all in one sentence, making for the door as she did so. Then she was out of the door and cantering along the corridor toward the entrance, not daring to look back to see if anyone followed to asked why she was so disturbed.

She collapsed onto her bed that night, still clothed, just relieved to be safe at home. For several minutes she lay there thanking Celestia and Luna that nothing terrible had come about from her botched spell. Then she rolled over and fell into a dream world where she was chased through a dark forest by a cream pony with sharp fangs and blood red eyes.

Author's Note:

Well, that's the first chapter.
Just a couple of quick notes:
I'm am not entirely up to date with the show.
I had some more but i can't think of them.
Anyway, I do hope you enjoyed.